Creating church videos might sound easy enough, but what happens when no one is watching them? One of the main reasons to create your own videos is to expand your reach.
The best way to do this is to create videos people want to share. While there’s never a guarantee of going viral, you might feel like you’re going viral if you suddenly double or triple your number of viewers.
Your members want to share your videos, but only if it’s something they think their friends want to see. That’s why you have to follow some general guidelines to creating more shareable videos.
Talk To Your Members
Start by talking to your members. Since they’ll be the ones most likely to view your videos to begin with, you need to find out what type of content they usually share.
As amazing as it would be if everyone wanted to share solemn clips from your latest church sermons, those usually don’t go over quite as well. People would rather just watch the sermon on your church website.
Video is continuing to grow in popularity, so odds are, your members are sharing videos. They might share them on social media, by text, by email or even just word of mouth. It doesn’t really matter how they’re sharing, as long as they’re sharing your content.
If you’re friends with your members on social media, take a look at the type of content they share. Pay attention to themes, video length, type of music (if any) and even how many shares the original video has.
The more you learn about what your members like, the easier it is to create videos you know they’ll enjoy. Even better, you’ll know it’s the type of content they’ll want to share.
Look At What You Share
In the same vein, take a look at the content you share. You probably don’t share every Christian video you see. Instead, there’s something about each one that stands out to you. Maybe it’s the lesson being taught or the engaging way the speaker(s) draw you in.
Make a list of common elements in the video content you share yourself. Even look at videos that aren’t directly Christian-related. For instance, you might have shared a silly cat compilation or some cool weather facts.
The key is to find what stands out about those videos that makes you want to share with others. Creating church videos people want to share means incorporating some of those same shareable elements into your own videos.
Keep It Authentic
How often do you tell yourself that you can’t possibly create great church videos because you don’t have the budget? You don’t need a large budget to create shareable videos.
Some of the top viral videos of all time were shot with a smartphone or a cheap digital camera. The main things to focus on include:
- Easy to hear
- Easy to see
If you have a smartphone with a decent camera, it’s good enough to get started. You may want to invest in a mic for better audio, but that’s not a requirement to start.
What’s most important out of the three is authenticity. Viewers can tell if your trying too hard or just saying things to try to be trendy. It’s awkward for everyone and actually makes viewers distrust your church. Even your members won’t share the content.
Instead, be authentic. Be true to your church and your values. You can still create engaging videos, but don’t try to be something you’re not.
In one study, 90% of consumers said they feel authenticity is important when it comes to supporting any brand, which includes churches. The same study also found that while 92% of marketers felt their polished, brand-generated content was authentic, consumers don’t agree. In fact, 51% said less than half of brands they interacted with had authentic content.
User-generated content is often preferable because it feels more authentic. This means having real conversations, getting members involved and going beyond just reading a script for the camera is what viewers want.
Creating church videos people want to share is as easy as focusing more on authenticity than expensive equipment or highly polished videos.
Play Off Of Trends
This one is tricky. It’s easy to go too far and create controversy, which isn’t what you want to do. Some churches have jumped onto trends they didn’t fully understand, making viewers question the churches values.
Only incorporate trends into your church videos if all of the following are true:
- You understand every aspect of the trend
- The trend is family-friendly
- You’re not infringing on any copyrights
- It’s a safe trend (you don’t want to spread a trend that could cause someone to get hurt like the insane TidePods trend)
- You can put a relevant Christian-spin on it
- You’ll have fun with it
- The result fits in with your church’s values
While it might seem like a long checklist, you only want to play off of trends that are right for your church. So be picky.
Plus, if you try to be too trendy, you lose your authenticity and come off as more interested in marketing they really connecting with your audience.
Have Fun And Make Viewers Laugh
While the top videos on YouTube are usually music videos, that’s only a portion of the video giant’s content. What else do people watch? Things that amuse them.
The world is a stressful place. With so much bad in the world, it’s nice to laugh. That’s where your church can help.
Creating church videos that make people laugh isn’t always easy. You have to be authentic. However, if you can tell a funny story that actually happened or put together a silly sketch, viewers are more likely to share it.
In fact, comedy and sketch videos are listed as one of the top 12 types of YouTube content. No surprise, funny animals is often ranked as number one. After all, who doesn’t love funny animals?
Of course, if your church happens to be involved with helping the local animal shelter, upload videos of the animals playing to encourage more adoptions. You expand your church’s reach, help animals get forever homes and help people laugh and de-stress.
Get People Thinking
Everything doesn’t have to be funny. Although, funny videos can still have a moral or lesson that makes people think.
However, creating church videos that leave people thinking encourages people to share. After all, if your video made an impact on a person, they want to share it so it helps others.
A great way to do this is by creating short, thought provoking videos. Tackle commonly misinterpreted scripture. Talk about unique ways to solve spiritual problems. Ask questions that make people start to question how they can live a better life with a stronger relationship with God.
Talk With Engaging Guests
You don’t have to sit alone and film church videos. Instead, make it far more interactive by having guests. Invite area Christian leaders and musicians. Interview them. Their fans will want to watch and then share with others.
Creating guest videos works well as a live option too. Either way, try to make it more interactive for your audience. If you’re filming and then uploading, advertise it on your church blog and social media channels. Ask people to submit questions they’d love the guest to answer. If it’s live, then viewers can ask questions during the session.
Either way, people enjoy watching interviews. They also enjoy video podcasts where two or more people sit around discussing topics. These are usually fun and thought-provoking.
Create Parody Songs
Remember how music videos are extremely popular? Why not create your own? Take popular songs and create your own Christian parodies. Just make sure you’re not infringing on any copyrights.
Ask your members to write their own parodies, pick the best one or two and let your audience enjoy. These are truly authentic and shows your viewers that your church knows how to have fun. Plus, these show your viewers that your members are active and having fun at church.
Practice Before You Film
Authenticity doesn’t mean you have to just wing it. While there’s nothing wrong with ad-lib or having a discussion with a guest on the spot, sometimes your video flows better if you prepare at least a general outline and practice it first.
While viewers are more likely to share an authentic video, they’re not going to share one where the speaker is constantly pausing or rambles without any real point.
Make sure you’re comfortable in front of the camera. Even if that means spending a little time practicing.
Showcase Member & Community Talent
One of the hardest parts of creating church videos people want to share is just not knowing what to film. You know you should go beyond your weekly sermon, but what other options do you have?
Showcase the talent of your members and local community. As long as the talent isn’t obscene or controversial, ask your members and local community to send you clips of them showing off their talent.
Pick one each week to do a longer video or do a weekly theme, such as singers or skateboarders. You’ll have no shortage of new content and your viewers will viewing and sharing the videos. Plus, it’s a great way to bring your entire community together.
Create A Series
A series often attracts a growing audience. Think of it like a TV show. When people enjoy a series, they tell everyone about it. The same applies to church videos.
Create a series around a specific theme. Get as creative as you want. For instance, you could do something about cooking or kids’ woodworking projects. Incorporate scripture or a lesson during the video.
As Refinery29 learned, viewers love a good video series. In fact, that’s one of the ways the site grew their video channel so fast.
Act Out Bible Stories For Kids
Parents are always eager to share content that helps other parents. Creating church videos that engage kids is a great way to get families watching and sharing.
Recruit some volunteers to help act out children’s Bible stories. Kids learn more and have fun while learning. Even their parents might enjoy them.
Your church also benefits from parents sharing the videos with other parents. Suddenly, you have a larger audience of kids learning about the Bible and exploring their faith.
Ask Your Youth Questions
People love cute animals and cute kids. If the youth in your church want to, have them do cute videos together. Ask them questions about God, the church, praying and other Christian topics.
There’s nothing quite as adorable and often funny as a child’s honest answer. Of course, always get parents’ permission first. Otherwise, this is a great way to create family-friendly content that people are happy to share with all of their friends and family.
Plus, the parents of those kids are definitely going to share the videos with everyone they know.
Keep Them Short
Ask 20 experts how long your videos should be and you’ll easily get 20 different answers. Creating church videos people want to share means creating videos people will actually watch.
Your audience is busy. Even if they’ll binge-watch a TV season in a weekend, that doesn’t mean they’re eager to share 30 minute videos.
Instead, keep your videos short. Usually, videos in the 3-5 minute range do well. Of course, longer videos of 10-15 minutes work well too. Try to provide a mix of lengths to appeal to more people and get more shares.
Make Them Relatable
Above all else, make your church videos relatable. This is why authenticity is so important. People want to connect with brands they relate to. Create content that resonates with your audience.
Cover topics that help their lives. Cater content to their needs while still adhering to your church values. The more someone can relate, the more likely they are to share. So, think about questions you often get. What types of problems do your members struggle with?
You never have to mention any names, but use your experiences with your members and community to create more relatable, and shareable, videos.
Don’t forget to market your videos. Use your church website to tell everyone about your videos and even link to them to make them easily accessible on a single platform. Need a church website? Contact us today to get started.